Wandering through the grasses of an urban savannah
Each one feels like the gazelle, fleet and fragile
The reserve borders on the city; we border on reserve

Deserve to shriek like gazelles if we wish, or so we affirm
As we speak low; measured, like stitches unpicking
Is this conversation or argument? Disagree – unconfirmed

The terms and conditions of stepping closer are laid out
Circling slowly, we two lions in gazelles’ clothing
Predator prey play a no-win game: fun gone, all doubt

One gazelle is haunted by leonine flickers amidst her herd
The other adds In the Dream House to her book list – twice
Both wake up clawed, bereaved; rasped by tongues and words

Are we gazelles or lions, defending ourselves from fear, fraying?
Must not believe it’s love, erotic, ripping into me again… Indeed –
Danger is to find oneself saying, “lions and gazelles are only playing.”

Rosalind Moran


Rosalind Moran is a Canberra-born writer whose work has appeared in Meanjin, Kill Your Darlings, and Prospect Magazine, among others. She was a runner-up in the 2019 June Shenfield Poetry Award and is currently pursuing an MPhil at the University of Cambridge. @RosalindCMoran

© 2021